Michelin names 19 D.C. restaurants to its Bib Gourmand list

And so it begins: Michelin has released the first round of restaurants that will be included in D.C.’s first Michelin Guide, the lower-cost but still Michelin-worthy restaurant list called Bib Gourmand.

A total of 19 restaurants made the cut: Filipino favorite Bad Saint; Bidwell, the full-service restaurant in Union Market; Spanish tapas spot Boqueria; Shaw Ethiopian restaurant Chercher; four José Andrés restaurants: China Chilcano, Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel; Georgetown Ethiopian restaurant Das; 14th Street hotspot Doi Moi; Chef Tim Ma’s first D.C. restaurant, Kyirisan; Afghan restaurant Lapis; Erik Bruner-Yang’s Maketto; Turkish restaurant Ottoman Taverna; Jeff Black’s Pearl Dive Oyster Palace; Italian restaurant Red Hen; The Royal in LeDroit Park; Lao restaurant Thip Khao; and Neapolitan pizza restaurant 2Amys.

Bib Gourmand restaurants are eateries where a diner can get two courses and either a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less. According to a press release from Michelin, these are restaurants where Michelin’s inspectors — secret reviewers who visit the restaurants and award ratings — go on their own time.

The rest of the Michelin guide will be released Oct. 13. It will be the first time D.C. has had a city guide from Michelin, and only the fourth Michelin guide in the U.S. In its first year, the D.C. guide will only include restaurants in D.C. proper, though that could be extended to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs in future years.

The Bib Gourmand list leaned heavily on D.C.’s wide variety of ethnic cuisines, with restaurants representing many different countries making the list.

While its an honor, receiving the Bib Gourmand does have a down side: it means that those restaurants will not be awarded stars. Restaurants that are included in the full version of the guide to be released next week may receive stars or not, depending on the inspectors’ experiences.

Rebecca Cooper covers retail, restaurants, tourism and the arts.